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What could be causing the mysterious pinging noises in the Canadian Arctic?
Recently, the Canadian region of the Arctic has been experiencing a spate of mysterious hums, pings, and beeps which have reportedly been terrifying local animals who have chosen to abandon the area.
Various theories have propagated about the mysterious noises. Some have suggested that the noises are being caused deliberately by animal rights campaigners seeking to frighten animals away from the region to protect them from hunters, others have suggested that mining companies have been conducting illicit sonar scans of the region, others that there is a leak of methane gas.
Given the recent political tension between Russia and the United States, some have suggested that the noises might have been caused by submarines secretly operating surveillance missions in the outlying waters. Some people have even suggested that the Canadian Arctic might be a previously undiscovered UFO base.
But now a scientist believes that he may have the answer – and it’s considerably less dramatic than all of the theories.
Initially, it was suspected that the mysterious noises were being caused by a project called the Canada Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (CANAPE).
This project has been using low frequency sound waves in order to determine how acoustics are affected by changes in the sea ice levels. The project is intended to help produce data that will be helpful when it comes to tracking submarines operating in the far northern seas. However, it transpired that CANAPE could not have been inducing the peculiar noises. Peter Worchester who is based at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California said that it would be impossible for the low sound waves to be heard in that particular region of the Arctic.
The mysterious matter was considered serious enough to merit an official response from the Canadian Department of National Defence. However, their searches were in vain. Spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier explained that there was a multi-sensor search in the area but there were no surface or subsurface contacts that would provide a definitive response to the conundrum.
Worchester said that he was hesitant about claiming to have solved the mystery without a thorough investigation but he did point out that the Canadian authorities might be looking for a radical cause for the noises when they may actually be quite mundane. He said that most of the acoustic noise in the Arctic is caused by nothing more exciting than ice rubbing together and cracking.
The buzzing, wheezing and loud cracking noises experienced by early Arctic travellers completely terrified them until they realised the cause of it. Prior to their revelation, they referred to the noises the ‘devil’s symphony’. “You can even get things where the ice hums, where you get sounds that resonate almost like an organ pipe, ” Worcester explained. “There was a paper written about the notion there are various melodies associated with the sounds generated by sea ice.”
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